Symbols of the night, and through association with Athena/Minerva, for wisdom and learning. Owls in paintings to William Blake.
From mythology, Mercury’s caduceus and the Aesculapian Staff, walking sticks as a device indicating age, and those carried by travellers.
Bare feet as a sign of rural poverty, among irregular peasant volunteer soldiers, and striking miners. But what about the kissing of feet?
A celebration of painted dragons in European art, including Moreau, William Blake, Raphael, Tintoretto and others.
Not an illusion as such, it has been used to great effect by a wide range of painters from Mantegna to Munch.
The use of symbols in paintings from the Renaissance to the start of the nineteenth century, with van Eyck, Rubens, Girodet, and others.
Feet in social history, from Winslow Homer, Jules Bastien-Lepage, Jules Breton, Bonnard, Schiele, Degas, and others.
How Vertumnus tried to trick Pomona into loving him, then told her a threatening story. Neither worked: it was being himself that won her in the end.
An illustrated timeline and overview of how the human visual environment, and perception of it, has changed from ancient times to virtual reality.
We’re easily convinced of the reality of 2D images – as when early audiences panicked as the Lumières’ train ran at them in a movie. How has our exposure to pictures changed, though?